Last Wheeler 9 Free Speech Trial Begins

October 11, 2011

Last Wheeler 9 Trial Begins
October 11, 2011
Wiley Manuel Courthouse Dept. 113
661 Washington St. Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA—On October 11, 2011, the three remaining students, revolutionaries and activists are beginning trial for charges related to a demonstration on March 2, 2011 at UC Berkeley to protest the recent budget cuts targeting public education.

Seventeen people were arrested during a non-violent sit-in that day, with 9 activists eventually going to trial over whether the First Amendment is valid on public university campuses. Six of those activists were acquitted last week of “Disturbing the Peace” while the remaining 3 student activists are being additionally charged with resisting arrest.

The defendants have promised to fight and defeat these charges and reject any plea deals. In a situation when public education has been under attack for years as part of a broader program of cutting educational funding while instituting a “Banking Model of Education,” these defendants have upheld education as a basic human right.

The defendants have issued a call for support in a recently released flier:

“To all those who recognize education as a basic human right, to all who believe in critical thinking, to all who dream of a better world and to all who feel that political protest against budget cuts should not be met with state repression: join in supporting the Wheeler 9. Be at all the court hearings at Wiley Courthouse to put the system on notice that these kinds of charges are ILLEGITIMATE.”

As one of the defendants said, “UC Berkeley is the historical birthplace of the free speech movement. This movement has been under a relentless attack by the powers-that-be. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

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